Would love ideas on what kind of holly this is.
I also posted this on the tree forum.
I found these hollies growing in Falls Church, VA, that I cannot indentify (species? cultivar?).
Really the greatest features of these hollies are the mostly spineless leaves with a nice color, good berry production and smaller size.
I would say over half the leaves on the tree are completely spineless and the remainder of them have anywhere from 1 to a half dozen minor spines. The leaves are anywhere from 1.5" to 3" long and maybe 1/2 as wide. Shape is elliptical.
Tree form is a rather open pyramid. These were maybe 15 tall at most. This area is quite dry and they get no supplemental water that I can see. They've been there for years.
My first inclination was that these might be an Ilex x attenuata cultivar -- something with I. cassine and I. opaca. (Or maybe pure cassine?) Possibly one of of the Hume cultivars like Hume #2, but I've never seen them in person as they seem to be very rarely sold in commerce -- especially around here. The written descriptions sound very close though.
Any ideas? They would make a wonderful small tree for the urban garden because of their smaller size -- nothing like I. opaca. And very few spines, so a very friendly holly -- plus the nice show of berries.
I took cuttings and have a nice 3-footer growing in my garden. Don't know if they need a similar species pollinator though. If attenuata, then likely local I. opacas will do.